Last month, MyVeronaNJ launched “Reinventing Verona” , a series of surveys designed to get at how we want to live in Verona now. First up, our dining habits. We knew, anecdotally, that Veronans eat a lot of food that they didn’t prepare. Our crazy work, school and sports schedules don’t allow for as much time at our home stoves as our parents had. But where are we getting that food, when are we eating meals out, what kind of food does Verona like? All those questions were mysteries. So we set up a survey and let you, our readers, tell us. We’d like to thank all of you who took time to respond.
Here’s what we learned. People in Verona eat out a lot: Most between 6 and 10 times a month, with almost 20% of the respondents eating out more than 11 times a month. Takeout, delivery are popular, but so is in-restaurant dining. You eat out at all times of day.
There’s a lot more money to be made locally: 40% of you are spending much of your dining out dollars outside Verona. Less than 12% buy the bulk of their meals here. Though Verona has two famous NYC chefs and lots of residents who work in NYC, most of the dining out is done in place much closer to home, most often in Montclair.
Verona town code has rules to block fast-food drive-throughs from coming here, but they may be superfluous. Most of those who answered our survey say they never eat at those kind of places. You prefer local quick service eateries and casual restaurants over chains. And if they are buying prepared food to go, they are more often buying it from a supermarket than a dedicated prepared food store.
Not surprisingly, people in Verona like Italian food. But there is very strong interest in Indian, Chinese and Japanese cuisines. (Caribbean and Korean restaurants will have to work harder to win restaurant-goers.)
It’s also probably not surprising that Veronans want good value for their food dollars. But you also want a varied menu and they want the food establishments they frequent to have an informative Web site. And this may quell some of the debate about parking in town: Respondents were fairly evenly split on whether parking is a factor when they choose a place to eat out.
Want to know more about Verona’s eating out habits? Our full restaurant report will be available as a $50 download shortly. You’ll be able to see all the responses and see how Verona’s dining habits stack up against out-of-home food consumption in other areas. E-mail us to reserve your copy.